“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” panel at San Diego Comic-Con began as enormous curtains in Hall H were pulled aside to reveal two additional screens from the earlier Sony and Screen Gems panels, creating one giant triple display for the ensuing footage.
Producers Matthew Tolmach and Avi Arad, as well as director Marc Webb and Dane DeHaan (Harry Osborn), took the stage first. Emma Stone (Gwen Stacy), who couldn’t make it to San Diego, sent a video in her stead. After the clip Jamie Foxx (Max Dillon/Electro) emerged onstage to explosive applause. Then Spider-Man himself entered the hall with a video showing him swinging into the convention center over rooftops and barricades. Fans craned their necks to spot him as he entered the hall, and he didn’t take his mask off as he took his seat. It sounded like Andrew Garfield under the mask, but he kept up the illusion of being Peter Parker throughout much of the panel.
“I come to Comic-Con every year because it’s the only place where I feel normal,” Spider-Man says. “I loved “Django,” he says to Foxx, seated next to him. “I like the way you die, boy,” Foxx responds, echoing a favorite line from Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained.”
After Spider-Man excused himself from the panel by saying his spidey sense was tingling, Foxx demonstrated how passionate he is about “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” and his character, Max Dillon, with a detailed description of the character’s circumstances. It turns out he’s been on the receiving end of a considerable amount of misfortune lately. In a pivotal scene, “it’s Max’s birthday, and even his mom doesn’t remember his birthday,” Foxx reveals. “You immediately see that he’s in a hole, so when he turns into Electro it makes sense.”
Webb discussed why they needed a new origin story with “The Amazing Spider-Man.” “We wanted to build a universe that was a little more elaborate…and in order to do that we had tot ell a new origin story with new idiosyncrasies and nuances,” he says.
In some never before seen footage, Garfield shows he’s having plenty of fun with the role of Spider-Man. The clip shows his first encounter with Max Dillon, who at that early point in the film is still a mild-mannered loser. By the end of the trailer Dillon’s transformed into Electro by plummeting into a vat of eels, and he’s shooting lightning out of his fingertips. The footage also included some exclusive storyboards and concept sketches
When the lights came back up, Garfield had returned to the stage with the Spider-Man mask off. He discussed his relationship with Stone’s Gwen Stacy. “These two, they feel destined for each other,” he says. “It’s complicated, as everything in Peter Parker’s life is.”
During the fan Q&A audience members dressed as Spider-Man and Superman asked questions of the cast as Foxx and Garfield hummed various tunes, including the original ‘Superman’ theme song, on stage. One fan asked about Garfield’s recent statements about the possibility that Spider-Man could be gay. “To me, love between two consenting adults is love,” he says, adding that part of the beauty of Spider-Man is that when he’s wearing the suit he’s got no skin color or sexual orientation.
“He’s a hero … that’s what’s important,” he says.
“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” debuts in theaters May 2, 2014.